School districts across the country have been moving classes online due to the spread of the coronavirus. Part of the process of transitioning to remote instruction has been learning how best to serve students without reliable internet access.
Alvin and Friendswood ISD have both taken steps to ensure that their students all have access to instruction during this time, and are working through ways to keep students without internet engaged in classwork and connected to their teachers.
AISD Director of Communications Renae Rives said that the district will be providing packets to the students that can be picked up from each campus twice a week.
“We are putting together enough to last through being closed until April 10, and then we will reassess,” Rives said. “Everything is changing quickly so we’re constantly thinking about what we need to do to be prepared."
Friendswood ISD has been letting students pick up and bring home district chromebooks for school use.
Executive Director of Technology Tonia Meadows said at a board of trustees meeting that she is expecting Friendswood to give out over 500 chromebooks for students without computers and ordered hot spot devices for those without internet.
“I think what happened is classes started and some people realized they couldn’t do with what they had,” Meadows said. “I will definitely have enough chromebooks, and as long as we have the resources we will continue giving students and families what they need."
Meadows said the district already owned several hot spots that were collected and given out, but the new ones are on back-order due to high demand. A hot spot device is a small mobile router that can be used to create an internet connection.
Additionally, a wi-fi login has been created at all of the Friendswood campuses so students are able to get work done when near the buildings.